I once read that a wise foodie in Japan should always try to eat products prepared as close as possible to the source, well, when it comes to tuna, you can’t go wrong with Katsuragi which is right next to the commercial tuna harbour of Katsuura in Wakayama Prefecture.
Katsuura is the next town over from the famous whaling town of Taiji. We spent the night in a small minshuku next to Kii Katsuura station with the goal of eating great tuna.
We decided to try Katsuragi and arrived early because we could not make reservations, first arrived policy only.
Nice little restaurant
The counter where I will sit on my next visit!
I ordered the set menu which declined the local speciality in a couple of interesting ways.
Tuna steak on a hot plate
Tuna salad, sashimi and deep fried tuna
My menu was great but it was only a start. My wife ordered a magura-don, sorry for the blurry pictures. Her marinated tuna was outstanding. I ate a maguro-don the day before at the fish market near Shirahama and it was only a pale imitation. Sorry, the pic is a bit blurry.
At one point during my meal, a couple at the counter asked the chef if he had tuna heads and I suddenly notice the huge pile of tuna heads sitting in the corner next to the door! I was sitting facing the wall…
This is when a great meal became pretty unique and incredible.
The chef gave us a lesson on how to cut tuna heads.
Deep fried nuggets of tuna
And the lesson continued
Cutting away with a regular sashimi knife!
Like I said, no waste
We ordered a magura tataki salad
I really wanted to eat some akami and it was the best I have ever eaten.
My wife could not resist and ordered some hon maguro neck, oh my god!
This was off the chart! Fatty, tasty, nothing like I have ever experienced. It makes everything else pale in comparison. Eating at Katsuragi was a real eye opening experience.
I want to go back to Katsuragi and order à la carte. Shizuo Tsuji was right, go back to the source! The only problem is the distance, Wakayama is pretty far from Okayama.